2,000 New Year ambulance calls

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East Anglian Ambulance Service answered 1,970 calls over New Year’s night which was double the average night but 19 fewer than last year.

Suffolk made 229 calls and Norfolk 308, compared to 613 in Essex, the highest of the six counties the trust covers.

Director for Emergency Operations Neil Storey said: “My thanks and praise go out to all our staff and volunteers who worked during this difficult shift. While a downward trend, however slight, is good news and a sign that perhaps people are taking note of our advice, it’s still a very busy start to the year.

“For those calling 999 with a genuine medical problem but which isn’t an emergency we would ask them to take note of our Right Call message which explains how calls are prioritised, like they are in A&E departments, to ensure the patients in most need get help first.

“Those not in life threatening situations should expect to wait longer for an ambulance response - which in some minor cases may be telephone advice - depending on their need as assessed using a comprehensive system by our highly trained clinical call handlers.”

He hopes more people will make it a New Year resolution to learn how to save a life.

“Learning to save a life can mean that if someone near you collapses and is unconscious, your actions could make the difference between life and death,” he said.

Information relating to both the 999 ‘Right Call’ campaign and CPR advice can be found on the ambulance trust’s website at www.eastamb.nhs.uk